The death of former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan on Sunday was commemorated by Hamas and the Turkish-based groupIHH, which is under investigation for its ties to the terrorist organization.
While Erbakan was a former head of state, he also was a blatant anti-Semite. Prior to Turkey's 2007 elections, he claimed in an interview that Jews believe they "will destroy – Allah forbid – Al-Aqsa mosque and in its place build Solomon's temple," and "only then will their messiah come and establish them as the rulers of the world." Jews, he said, had been working for 5,767 years on those goals.
Erbakan, who was promoting his Islamist Happiness Party (SP), said the Muslims, by contrast, "became the masters. We [the Muslims] ruled for 11 centuries. But unfortunately, in the last three centuries the children of Israel have grabbed this material power. Now they control the world that we live in."
The IHH in Gaza set up condolence tents this week, attended by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas hardliner Mohamad Al-Zahar. A banner featuring a picture of Erbakan on one side and the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood logo on the other was placed at the entrance.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal was scheduled to take part in Erbakan's funeral procession, according to an article on Hamas's website. "For his part, Palestinian parliament speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik, along with other Hamas MPs in the West Bank, extended heartfelt condolences to Turkey's leadership and people over the death of Erbakan," the website reports. And, "Dweik and the MPs in a statement on Monday said that Erbakan's demise is a big loss to Turkey and the entire Islamic world."
In the United States, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a statement expressing deep sadness at Erbakan's death and remembering a 1996 speech he gave to the group in New York.
"Mr. Erbakan was a visionary and brilliant leader of Turkey's Islamist movement who devoted his entire life to creating a more peaceful and just world," said ICNA President Zahid Bukhari.
Erbakan founded the Islamist movement Milli Gorus, or National View, in 1969, and became Turkey's first Islamist prime minister in 1996. Thousands of Turks attended his funeral in Istanbul on Tuesday, where crowds chanted "Mujahid Erbakan."